When I have been indulging this thought I have, in imagination,
seen the Britons of some future century, walking by the banks of
the Thames, then overgrown with weeds and almost impassable with
rubbish. The father points to his son where stood St. Paul's,
the Monument, the Bank, the Mansion House, and other places of
the first distinction.
Quotes , Source: Humourous Thoughts on the Removal of the Seat of Empire and Commerce, in "London Magazine", 1745
The ruins of himself! now worn away
With age, yet still majestic in decay.
Homer ("Smyrns of Chios")
Quotes , Source: The Odyssey (bk. XXIV, l. 2271), (Pope's translation)
For such a numerous host
Fled not in silence through the frighted deep
With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,
Confusion worse confounded.
Quotes , Source: Paradise Lost (bk. II, l. 993)
Behold this ruin! 'Twas a skull
Once of ethereal spirit full!
This narrow cell was Life's retreat;
This place was Thought's mysterious seat!
What beauteous pictures fill'd that spot,
What dreams of pleasure, long forgot!
Nor Love, nor Joy, nor Hope, nor Fear,
Has left one trace, one record here.
Anna Jane Vardill (Mrs. James Niven)
Quotes , Source: appeared in "European Magazine", Nov., 1816, with signature V., claimed by Robert Philip in 1826 and
Should the whole frame of nature round him break
In ruin and confusion hurled,
He, unconcerned, would hear the mighty crack,
And stand secure amidst a falling world.
Quotes , Source: Horace--Ode III (bk. III)
For, to make deserts, God, who rules mankind,
Begins with kings, and ends the work by wind.
Quotes , Source: The Vanished City
She [the Roman Catholic Church] may still exist in undiminished
vigour, when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst
of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London
Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's.
Thomas Babington Macaulay
Quotes , Source: Ranke's History of the Popes
Final Ruin fiercely drives
Her ploughshare o'er creation.
Quotes , Source: Night Thoughts (night IX, l. 167)
And rejoicing that he has made his way by ruin.
[Lat., Gaudensque viam fecisse ruina.]
Lucanus (Marcus Annaeus Lucan)
Quotes , Source: Pharsalia (bk. I, 150), referring to Julius Caesar
And when 'midst fallen London they survey
The stone where Alexander's ashes lay,
Shall own with humble pride the lesson just
By Time's slow finger written in the dust.
Mrs. Anna Letitia Barbauld
Quotes , Source: Eighteen Hundred and Eleven
And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of
asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with
And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the
watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights:
And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of
horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is
fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto
Quotes , Source: Isaiah (ch. XXI, v. 7-9)
There is a temple in ruins stands,
Fashion'd by long forgotten hands:
Two or three columns, and many a stone,
Marble and granite, with grass o'ergrown!
Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)
Quotes , Source: Siege of Corinth (st. 18)
What cities, as great as this, have . . . promised themselves
immortality! Posterity can hardly trace the situation of some.
The sorrowful traveller wanders over the awful ruins of others
others. . . . Here stood their citadel, but now grown over with
weeds; there their senate-house, but now the haunt of every
noxious reptile; temples and theatres stood here, now only an
undistinguished heap of ruins.
Quotes , Source: The Bee (no. IV, A City Night-Piece)
History fades into fable; fact becomes clouded with doubt and
controversy; the inscription moulders from the tablet: the
statue falls from the pedestal. Columns, arches, pyramids, what
are they but heaps of sand; and their epitaphs, but characters
written in the dust?
Quotes , Source: The Sketch Book--Westminster Abbey
In the firm expectation that when London shall be a habitation of
bitterns, when St. Paul and Westminster Abbey shall stand
shapeless and nameless ruins in the midst of an unpeopled marsh,
when the piers of Waterloo Bridge shall become the nuclei of
islets of reeds and osiers, and cast the jagged shadows of their
broken arches on the solitary stream, some Transatlantic
commentator will be weighing in the scales of some new and now
unimagined system of criticism the respective merits of the Bells
and the Fudges and their historians.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Quotes , Source: Dedication to Peter Bell the Third
Who knows but that hereafter some traveller like myself will sit
down upon the banks of the Seine, the Thames, or the Zuyder Zee,
where now, in the tumult of enjoyment, the heart and the eyes are
too slow to take in the multitude of sensations? Who knows but
he will sit down solitary amid silent ruins, and weep a people
inurned and their greatness changed into an empty name?
Constantin Francois de Chassebeouf de Volney
Quotes , Source: Ruins (ch. II)
The next Augustan age will dawn on the other side of the
Atlantic. There will, perhaps, be a Thucydides at Boston, a
Xenophon at New York, in time a Vergil at Mexico, and a Newton at
Peru. At last some curious traveller from Lima will visit
England, and give a description of the ruins of St. Paul's, like
the editions of Balbec and Palmyra.
Quotes , Source: Letter to Horace Mann
I do love these ancient ruins.
We never tread upon them but we set
Our foot upon some reverend history.
Quotes , Source: The Duchess of Malfi (act V, sc. 3)
Where now is Britain?
. . . .
Even as the savage sits upon the stone
That marks were stood her capitols, and hears
The bittern booming in the weeds, he shrinks
From the dismaying solitude.
Henry Kirke White
Quotes , Source: Time